Companies Prefer Formal E-Business System Architecture

In a study conducted in the Fall of 1999 among 134 companies, the Cutter Consortium determined that 81% of respondents reported having a formal system architecture in place. Of that, 28 percent had an N-tier client-server, 27 percent had a two-tier client-server, 15 percent had a Web-centric architecture, and 11 percent had miscellaneous architectures. Only nineteen percent reported having no architecture in place.

The results of the study show that in-house skills in the core technologies are good. When asked to rate primary programming language skills on a scale of one to five (with one denoting no expertise and five denoting expert skill), average respondent ratings gave Java a 3.1, C++ a 3.4 and Visual Basic a 3.6.

In light of these findings, Cutter Consortium Senior Consultant Chris Pickering concludes, "Maximum readiness for e-business is marked by tight cooperation between the business and IT, and by an IT staff with the expertise to use e-business technologies well. Judging the former is more difficult than judging the latter."

He continues, "Good technical readiness is indicated by a formal architecture that includes core e-business technologies, solid experience with infrastructure technologies (TCP/IP, routers, firewalls, etc.), and expertise in application-level technologies, such as Java, C++ and distributed objects."

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